What I’ve Learned in Five Years

Nov 22, 2017 by

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I’m getting ready to make my traditional pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins and mashed sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. After years of offering to make something else for a change, I have finally decided to consider it a compliment that I’m not allowed through the door without The Muffins. Maybe without the sweet potatoes, but not the pumpkin chocolate-chip mini muffins.

I’ve lost track of how many years I’ve been making them, but I do know these things:

  • My family will never get sick of them no matter how many batches I bake. I will be making them for Christmas too.
  • While I may know for a fact that “Store them in a sealed bag or container for 24-48 hours” really does make a difference, trying to convince my family of this is a battle I will never win. We’re lucky if the muffins last 24-48 hours.
  • Even I must admit that it’s difficult to eat just one. They’re tiny, so you can eat five before it adds up to a regular sized muffin, or a dozen if you picture a muffin from Costco when you think regular sized.
  • Making a double batch is not overkill this time of year, it’s smart, unless I want to make them again in 24-48 hours.

Five years ago, I was getting ready to make pumpkin-chocolate chip mini muffins for Thanksgiving. Nathan and I had been back in the Bay Area for all of three weeks, and I was beginning my second Holiday season as a single mom. We missed Christian so badly that we couldn’t even talk about it. All we could do was pray for him to find someone to celebrate Thanksgiving with, which he did, and get time off to visit us for Christmas, which he also did.

Nathan and his cousins Dylan and Haley looked like this.

Now they (with another cousin, Kai) look like this.

Five years ago, I wondered if “What brought you back to the Bay Area” would always make me start shaking, or if I’d ever have anything else to talk about besides what brought me back here.

I wondered if I’d ever stop feeling torn between two homes, and when the break from non-stop stress would start to feel nice instead of like adjusting to a new culture.

When people told me, “God will use what you’ve gone through,” and “He will restore what the locusts have eaten” I hoped I wouldn’t have to add those lines to my “What to Never Say During a Crisis” list. In other words, I hoped they were true and not just platitudes.

Live years later, I’ve learned that:

We eventually stop shaking, and find new stories to tell.

After a while, we start to feel at home where we are.

Occasionally missing the friends and the home we had to leave behind means that was one more place where we were loved.

This picture reminds me that God has uses does indeed use what we go through.

After a while, we start to feel at home where we are. Click To Tweet

This bracelet, which I bought soon after choosing restore as my verse for 2017 and Jeremiah 29:11 as my verse (“For I know the plans I have for you…”), reminds me that “He will restore what the locusts have eaten” is more than a platitude.

My journals hold the proof that restoration takes time, and healing takes even more, and God does beautiful things while we wait. Especially when we stop trying to rush the process. (Bad things will happen to you if you read my journals in an attempt to find the evidence.)

It will be interesting to see what life looks like in another five years. But I have a feeling I’ll be making The Muffins then too.

 

What has God done in your life since last Thanksgiving? What has He taught you?

What has God done in your life since last Thanksgiving? Click To Tweet
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